Where Autism Identifies As Severe
Everything Old Is Sort of New

Spring Weather Means More Opportunities for Autism Elopement (Wandering)

MortalityTH-236x300As the weather grows warmer, the opportunity for danger grows stronger. People with autism, from toddlers to adults, can be prone to elopement, wandering. For some, they bolt, take off and run away from caregivers. For others, they walk away from what most people would consider a safety zone, and often, never return. AofA'ers know the exhausting hyper-vigilance required day in and day out. No organization covers wandering, and helps families and caregivers, like The National Autism Association. We invite you to bookmark and SHARE their page on wandering, and download the many teaching tools they offer. Basic info should be on your fridge for anyone who comes to your home, at school and daycare and day programs for every staff member, and with local law enforcement. As ever, thanks NAA for your amazing work.


About Autism & Wandering

Wandering/elopement is the tendency for an individual to leave the safety of a responsible person’s care or safe area, which may result in potential harm or injury. This might include running off from adults at school or in the community, leaving the classroom without permission, or exiting the house when the family is not aware. This behavior is considered common and short-lived in toddlers but may persist or re-emerge in those with autism.

According to research, nearly half of children with autism are at risk for wandering away from a safe setting. Because people with autism are vulnerable to dangerous situations including drowning, traffic incidents, becoming trapped hot cars, etc., it’s important to take critical precautions and be aware that drowning fatalities remain a leading cause of wandering-related death, along with traffic injury.

Wandering/elopement is typically a form of communication, often occurring to get to something of interest or away from something bothersome, usually noise, commotion, fears/phobias, and demands. These impulses and incidents can increase with added anxiety and stress, especially if the individual has challenges with coping, calming, or regulating their emotions.

Early signs of exit-seeking behavior can start in toddlerhood. They include social/demand avoidance, moving to a different area of building or home unnoticed, bolting when upset, and seeking out water or other quiet places.

Quick Facts

  • According to a study in Pediatrics, nearly half of children with autism have a tendency to wander/bolt from safe settings
  • More than one third of children with autism who wander/elope are never or rarely able to communicate their name, address, or phone number
  • According to a study by NAA, accidental drowning accounts for 71% of lethal outcomes, followed by traffic injuries at 18%
  • Other dangers include dehydration; heat stroke; hypothermia; falls; physical restraint; encounters with strangers
  • Increased risks are associated with autism severity

Take Action in Your Home & Community

  • Download and begin using your Be REDy Booklet today.
  • Provide a copy of the Be REDy Booklet for First Responders to your local police, fire and/or sheriff’s department. Ask them to implement Reverse 911 in your county and seek assistance from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children when a child is missing.

Always Remember: If a Child or Adult with Autism is Ever Missing, Call 911 & Search Water First!

Important Free Resources from NAA

Free Safety Resources – Click to view, download or print PDF files.


Benedetta f Stilwell

Oh, I almost bought some off of amazon. You can buy progesterone powder.
But then I see that glycine powder also blocks cortisol, as does Vitamin B 3 .
40 plus years later and here I am, still studying.

Everything would of been so much better if I had not worshiped false gods. Yeah, no vaccines. Even after I saw, it still took me another 20 years to stop believing small pox and polio vaccines saved humanity. What a mess.

I bought Michael Nehls book. Any nuggets of healing I will let you know.


Any one out there giving or have given their child over the counter progesterone?
It is suppose to enhance GABA and reduce or block cortisol.


Spring weather means backyard gardening. Is your adult child able to learn these skills?

Famine-Proof Your Family! Get Tips From Marjory Wildcraft of The Grow Network
Home Depot has a nice garden center.


I'd also elope and wander inside Home Depot/department stores, fascinated by the various (and different texture/color) giant carpets stacked neatly to each other, the big orange "stairs on wheels", Reese's peanut butter cups in the checkout lane (the same color as Home Depot, of course), the bright lamps, the "mini houses" and artificial lawns inside the store, the paint cards... to me, visiting Home Depot (and department stores like it) was, and is, like visiting another world. One time, I was lost inside Home Depot as a little girl (and Dad found me on the bottom of the orange "stairs on wheels"), thankfully I was always aware of danger and was scared of getting hurt (unlike boys with autism/many ASD kids of both genders who don't have the hyper-sensitivity to pain/needles/scrapes and falls that I had for many years).

Visiting such stores/areas to ASD people, can feel like being on another planet. Filled with strange and wonderful gadgets, furniture, even "mini houses", snacks, veggie plants, TVs, and artificial lawns, as if it's someplace to survive the end of the world.


Pay no attention to Bill. He is maybe just bitter, with a large dose of wokeism, or some paid troll. It is hard to know.


White Azalea or Bugsy Scyther or whatever you Pokemon reference name is. I was diagnosed with autism at age 11 in 2001. I have a genetic tumor disorder also called NF1. I was just reminding parents what to do if their child escaped safety. I was also making a mini rant about that stranger danger nonsense. Since you live in Florida if you want job training for the disabled try ARC of Broward county you can learn to cook and get gainfully employed. White Azalea are you a guy or gal?


Will/Bill, you're so insensitive and uncaring towards autistic people.
Do you actually have autism? I do, and mine's not HFA/Aspergers nor mild (unlike yours, if you do). Neither is Greg Wyatt's intellectually disabled adult girl Emily Wyatt (even though Emily has supposed "mild" autism unlike me). Do you know what autistic women suffer from in group home settings? And why ASD parents are terrified of their ASD kids reaching adulthood with no therapies available and no supports for anyone but the mildest of cases?

I used to elope all the time as a kid, diagnosed with 'profound autism and SPD/I.D." at age six in 2008. I'd chase wild rabbits and happily shout "Bunny! Bunny!", or I'd elope from my teacher aides/disliked activities in my three short years of public 'school' (ages nine-14). I LOVED to run, despite being very overweight and easily fatigued/quickly running out of breath. I'd elope to the live lobster section in the grocery store, fascinated by alive animals there.

My autism began as 'mild/mere SPD' as a toddler, and slowly became severe/profound at age six. I have anxiety and sensory issues so severe (strong smells, bright lights, fears of school shootings - my mom's elementary school she works at, has regular "school shooting drills" now - and more) I have never attended a single day of high 'school' outside home at all. I was quickly pulled out of Southwest Middle School (Lakeland Florida) after less than a year there, it was a horrible and nasty school (puke on the floors, stinky cafeteria, almost zero supports for autistics like me, I got lost trying to get to my numerous classrooms, etc). All my 'high school' is complete homeschool, due to my moderate ASD (atypical/late onset Leo Kanner autism), SPD and learning issues.

My parents had to go to court when I was removed from Southwest Middle School (I raged from sensory overload and being in huge, crowded areas, and had several violent crying-filled outbursts) and they discussed my childhood regression into autism, I.D. and PANDAS strep, and that I cannot function in a public 'school' setting and must be homeschooled. I regret going to middle 'school', unaware they had nothing to support me. Same with elementary. At least I never attended any hellish high 'school' outside home, and never attended any graduation ceremonies. I have to wear earplugs or/and headphones in public and while doing dishes, due to extreme noise sensitivity. Sometimes I have to wear sunglasses indoors. I often eat the same/very similar foods all the time, due to sensory issues and gagging/vomiting issues.

Do you give a rat's behind about autistics, Bill/Will?


🌱 🌼 is the time of year for over diagnosis of Autism. 🌼 🌱 is the time for for year for Stranger Danger paranoia mostly from white mothers.
If you children with or without any disability elopes from safety then there needs to be a detailed plan to prevent the elopement or to safely find the child. Your child may need a stranger to help the lost child autism or not contact their family or to contact the 🚓. This plan to prevent or respond to elopement can be made in an Individual Education Plan or a Individual Service Plan from the Regional Centers in California or whatever your local developmental disabilities agency is called. Practice this plan and inform local law enforcement about your child.

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